Saturday, April 18, 2015

Grumpy Old Woman Complaining

People, I know that with every passing second, an American my age becomes less and less valuable, less marketable in the work place, less important as a consumer, less valued as a citizen. Alright. I am good with that. I had my day in the sun. I am fixin-to-get-ready to retire so I can just fade away and leave the world to the cell phone addicts. Before I go, I have a couple of things to get off my chest.

First of all, goddamn it, a point is MOOT - not MUTE! Mute means silent. Moot means irrelevant or open to debate. It is pronounced moooooot. (If cows could make a point, they would make moot points. Oh, I crack myself up!)

Americans once held the grand idea of educating every child - a marvelous, democratic and noble idea! So how did almost 318.9 million people reach the age of majority without understanding "they're, there, their"?

They're - a contraction of "they are".
Their - a possessive plural pronoun.
There - refers to place, an adverb

Now pay attention: "They're going there with their children."

Not that I myself posses perfect grammar. It is impossible for me to even catch my own mistakes because I was born in Kansas, raised in Kansas, and have lived here my entire life. I am never sure how to properly use was/were. My writing is full of such errors that I wholeheartedly, without shame, blame on the Kansas vernacular in which I have been steeped lo these many years.

I struggle to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. There is even a prepositional joke:

A PhD, between flights was waiting in a crowded airport. A friendly Kansan sits down next to her and asks, "Where you goin' to?"

The PhD sniffed, "I do not answer people who end their sentences with prepositions."

"So, where you going to, bitch?"

Grammar issues are nothing compared to cell phone etiquette. If we are in a face-to-face conversation, unless you are the President of the United States or an Obstetrician, do NOT check your texts every five minutes - or every ten minutes. Trust me, it can wait. I am dying even as we speak! Have some respect.


Kathy said...

Right on. (And sometimes 'write on') One of my personal Grumpy Old Woman Complaining pet peeves is the near-total misuse of the word 'crescendo' in everything from online blogs, news reports to actual books and printed journals.

This is a very common and well-established (for several centuries now) Italian musical term meaning 'growing'. As in, gradually growing louder, or sometimes, growing in intensity (i.e. volume and speed). And yet it is now almost universally mistaken as a word meaning 'peak' as in 'the excitement grew to a crescendo' -- which literally would mean 'the excitement grew to a growing' . Hello, stupid people of the world! '-endo' is the Italian equivalent of -'ing' in English! You can't use an 'ing' word as a noun!

The 'cresc-' part of the word is obviously related to 'crescent' -- which is the GROWING phase of the Moon. Ever hear of croissant? It's a crescent-shaped French pastry.

Ack! Ack! Ack! (Someone give the woman a croissant and send her back to the music room.......)

Jackie said...

Oh yes... the world is full of the misuse of the correct definitions of words! It especially irritates me to hear "news" commentators using words they clearly do not understand . I will join you in the music room . I have my own croissant, thank you so much.

Lila White said...

Write (sic) on Jackie!